I drafted the following press release for my firm’s intranet, and so this headline now appears there just below “Law360 Names Shook a 2016 Litigation Powerhouse,” which also happened recently. I wanted to make sure my colleagues knew that although I had not personally been given any sort of title by Law360, Lowering the Bar did come in sixth on its list of the top five law blogs.
These are the kind of self-promotion skills that build a career, let me tell you.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 27, 2016):
It was named sixth.
“Attorneys everywhere are reading blogs for meaningful discussion on major events in their profession,” the article noted, although it wisely stopped well short of claiming that Lowering the Bar itself is one of those blogs. “[W]hile exact interests vary by practice area,” it continued, “a number of blogs top the list of favorites.” That number: five.
The blogs on the list each have their own niche, with regular updates that offer “topical information relevant to your practice,” Steptoe & Johnson partner Charles Michael was quoted as saying, again not specifically referring to Lowering the Bar. “If you’re not following these sources,” he continued, meaning the titular Top 5, “you could be missing things that are relevant and bear on your day-to-day practice.” Otherwise, not, the quote correctly implied.
The article then discussed “five of the most frequently mentioned top law blogs,” among them:
- SCOTUSblog (“the leading voice covering the U.S. Supreme Court”)
- How Appealing (“a steady, daily stream of quick summaries of important appellate developments”)
- Above the Law (“a great snapshot of law firm practice and big law firms”)
- Lawyerist (praised as “a life-hacker resource for small firms”) and
- LXBN (technically not so much a blog as a service that aggregates content of other blogs in the LexBlog network, but still excellent and very useful and so it’s totally fine that they put it in the Top 5 Law Blog list, why wouldn’t it be)
Apparently needing another 100 words or so to fill out the column, yet determined not to make it a “Top 6” list, the article then awarded an “Honorable Mention” to Lowering the Bar.
“The law is usually a serious affair written by serious people covering serious topics,” it said, carefully choosing an adjective with more than one antonym to suggest what Lowering the Bar and its author are not. “Lowering the Bar serves to inject a few [sic] laughs into that mix with posts several times a week looking for humor,” though not necessarily finding it.
Keith Lee, author of The Associate’s Mind blog and a book that has probably sold more copies than Underhill’s did, described LTB as “sort of a humorous look at laws and funny situations that come up across the U.S. and the world’s court systems,” using “sort of” either in the way one does when struggling to describe a thing, or to moderate the following adjective, although in context it was probably the former.
Some of Lowering the Bar’s arguably humorous posts during the past year include:
- Google patents car technology that will make pedestrians stick to the hood if you hit them;
- Plaintiff misses the deadline to respond to a summary-judgment motion by about 21 years, then goes ahead and files a response, because why not; and
- You can’t get around the 14,000 word limit for federal appellate briefs by just taking out all the spaces.
Mr. Underhill may be reached for comment by sending a junior associate to scale the cliff above which his remote mountain fortress looms, after which he or she must navigate a minefield and ford a moat filled with laser sharks to deliver a single question that will be answered in riddles, or just by emailing him. Email is quicker.
I hope it isn’t necessary to say that in fact I appreciate the mention in Law360, “top 5” or not, and also Keith’s kind comments that actually included the words “great” and “entertaining.” Although he could have been thinking of something else.